You can find your own slice of under-the-radar Croatia on holidays to Podaca. This place sticks to its roots, with laidback restaurants and a simple, but stunning beach.
This tucked-away town sits at the southern end of the Makarska Riviera, so it’s still a cloak-and-dagger affair. It’s a petite place, made up of villas, guesthouses and a couple of restaurants. And just like its big sister Makarska, it lays claim to a blissful bay with soda-clear waters.
In a country known for its pebble beaches, this one really excels itself. Mountains crop up to the side, the sands are replaced by shingle, and the water’s duck-egg blue. The shade’s provided by fragrant pine trees here, rather than parasols. Plus, you’ll need to bring a towel or lilo if you want to sunbathe, as it’s back to basics.
After swimming and sunbathing, there’s hiking to be had. Podaca backs onto the slopes of Mount Biokovo, which is criss-crossed with walking trails. If you’ve got a car, you can head to Makarska for the day – a 40-minute drive away. Its main square is filled to the brim with open-air cafés and restaurants, and ringed by former palaces and a Baroque church.